Thursday 1st February will see eight more artists compete in Benidorm Fest for the chance to represent Spain at the 2024 Eurovision Song Contest. On Tuesday 30th January, we saw Angy Fernández, Miss Caffeina, Nebulossa and Sofía Coll qualify for the grand final so let’s meet the artists hoping to join them on Saturday 3rd February!
María Peláe – Remitente
33-year-old María Peláez Sánchez, known professionally as María Peláe, is a singer-songwriter from Malaga. She first learned to play guitar at 13 and has been performing ever since, eventually releasing her 2016 debut album ‘Hipocondría’ (‘Hypochondria’) thanks to a successful crowdfunding campaign. She has written songs for the TV talent show and former Spanish pre-selection contest Operación Triunfo before in the form of ‘Arde’ (‘Burn’) by Aitana in 2017 and ‘Nadie Se Salva’ (‘Nobody Is Saved’) in 2018, which was performed by Miki Núñez and Natalia Lacunza. María also competed in the ninth series of ‘Your Face Sounds Familiar’ from 2021-2022 and followed this with the release of her sophomore album ‘La Folcrónica’ (‘The Folkronic’). Her third and most recent album, ‘Al Baño María’ (translating as ‘Bain-Marie, a clever play on her name) was released in October 2023.
María often uses her songwriting to criticise society in a humorous way and her entry ‘Remitente’ (‘Sender’) is no exception. Laden with complex metaphors and multiple references to the Spanish Civil War, the song implies we should not repeat history and the behaviours that lead to such atrocities. The version of ‘Remitente’ that appears on ‘Al Baño María’ is over four and a half minutes long. However, María has been able to condense it to the required three minutes whilst keeping the meaning clear. You can listen to the song below:
Dellacruz – Beso en la mañana
Jorge de la Cruz Correa, known as Dellacruz, is a 32-year-old from the Canary Islands. He has helped write songs for a number of Spanish artists, including Famous‘ Benidorm Fest 2023 entry ‘La Lola’. He started releasing his own music in 2019, starting with his debut single ‘No Disimula’ (‘Does Not Hide’). His most successful single is ‘Un millón de locuras’ (‘A Million Crazy Things’) which was released in 2023, has over 400k streams on Spotify at the time of writing and features Pepe Bernabé and Tatiana Delalvz.
Dellacruz’s Benidorm Fest entry, ‘Beso en la mañana‘ (‘Kiss in the Morning’) is an urban pop number with Latin and electronica elements. Lyrically, it deals with wanting nothing more than to be with the person you love and breaking out of your comfort zone to do so. Will it be successful? You can listen to the song below:
MARLENA – Amor de verano
MARLENA are a duo consisting of Ana Legazpi (vocals) and Carolina Moyano (guitar). They have been making music together since 2017 when they met drinking in a bar: Carolina began playing her guitar, leading Ana to sing along, making them realise they sounded great together. This then led them to participate in the Italian and Spanish versions of The X Factor. However, it is their 2023 single ‘Me Sabe Mal’ (‘It Tastes Bad’), taken from their debut album ‘1000 Primeras Veces’ (‘1000 First Times’), which brought them their big break. The song went double platinum in Spain and has over 42 million streams on Spotify at the time of writing.
Their Benidorm Fest entry ‘Amor de verano’ (‘Summer Love’) features lyrics in both English and Spanish and is about the anticipation of a summer romance and not caring whether it is still here when September rolls around. Can MARLENA wow televoters and juries with their modern pop sound? You can listen to the song below:
St. Pedro – Dos extraños (Cuarteto de cuerda)
Pedro Hernández, who performs under the stage name St. Pedro, was born in Tenerife and studied classical percussion at a conservatory. He participated in the 2017 Spanish edition of The Voice, which ultimately led him to move to Miami, Florida to further pursue his musical career. Whilst here, he primarily became known for making urban music. However, his sole album is the 2022 release ‘st. Pedro’s Christmas Special’ so it’s safe to say the singer is used to performing a variety of genres and styles!
With ‘Dos extraños (Cuarteto de cuerda)‘ (‘Two Strangers (String Quartet)’), St. Pedro is once again experimenting with another genre that is yet to be seen on the Eurovision stage: the bolero. The bolero is a genre of song that originated in eastern Cuba in the 19th century that is characterised by sophisticated lyrics dealing with the topic of love. St Pedro’s song outlines the beautiful start to a relationship before its eventual breakdown, leading the singer to reflect that now he and his love are just “two strangers”. Could this pull on the heartstrings of the audience? You can listen to the song below:
Jorge González – Caliente
Jorge González is a 35-year-old Romani Spanish singer who was born in Madrid. He taught himself to sing and play piano and was enamoured with traditional Spanish music and Latin pop. Jorge became known to TV audiences in 2006 when he took part in the singing competition Operación Triunfo. Although he only placed eighth on the show, his appearance gained him enough exposure and a fan base for him to be signed to Universal Music Group. He released his debut album ‘Dikélame’ (‘Look At Me’) in 2007 followed by his 2009 sophomore effort ‘Vengo a enamorarte’ (‘I’m Coming to Make You Fall in Love’). He has twice attempted to represent Spain at Eurovision, in 2009 and 2017.
Now Jorge is back with his song ‘Caliente’ (‘Hot’) which is characterised by the Latin pop sound he knows and loves. Speaking to broadcaster RTVE about ‘Caliente’, Jorge said:
We wanted to convey a positive message in a subtle way, taking advantage of the fiery essence that characterises us as Spaniards. The song indirectly addresses the positive connotations of ‘hot’ and focuses on the idea of empowerment. The word ‘caliente’ has a double meaning in the song: it represents both the inner flame that empowers and motivates to move forward.Jorge González, RTVE
Can Jorge heat up the stage tonight? You can listen to his song below:
Yoly Saa – No se me olvida
Yolanda Saa Filgueira, known professionally as Yoly Saa, is a 31-year-old from Pontevedra in the Galicia region of Spain. From the age of 3, her father instilled a love of music in her and at the age of 15 she started teaching herself to play the guitar. Although she initially started studying Early Childhood Education at university, she ultimately abandoned this in 2018 when a televised Coldplay concert inspired her to move to Madrid to pursue a career in music. She released her first EP ‘Magma’ in 2020 which features the single ‘Todo contigo’ (‘Everything With You’) which has almost 8 million streams on Spotify at the time of writing. In April 2022, Yoly released her debut album ‘A golpes de fe’ (‘A Blow of Faith’) and in October of that same year she participated in the TV talent show Dúos Increíbles. In this show, veteran singers team up with emerging talents to compete. Yoly teamed up with Spanish-French singer-songwriter Sole Giménez, placing third overall.
Yoly Saa will be competing with her song ‘No se me olvida’ (‘I Don’t Forget’), a pop-folk number which the singer believes is her best work to date. Lyrically, the song describes the break down of a relationship and how the singer will never forget the tears she shed or hurt she experienced. Can this do well tonight? You can listen to it below:
Roger Padrós – El temps
26-year-old Roger Padrós is a singer, composer and pianist who has been playing music since he was 5. In 2020, he participated in the Spanish edition of The Voice where, under the mentorship of pop-rock musician Pablo López, he placed as a semi-finalist. His debut album ‘La Vida És Millor’ (‘Life is Better’) was released in October 2022.
Roger sings in both Spanish and Catalan and his song ‘El temps’ (‘Time’) is entirely in Catalan. This is the second time this has occurred in Benidorm Fest, with the last occasion being Siderland‘s entry ‘Que Esclati Tot‘ (‘Let Everything Explode’) in 2023. The song is about couples who have been together their entire lives and how these break down but also ultimately strengthen over time. Speaking to RTVE, Roger said “In the end, it is not time that separates us but ourselves.’ You can listen to ‘El temps’ below:
Almácor – Brillos platino
Arturo Almarcha Corella, who performs under the name Almácor, is a 26-year-old singer from Villena, Alicante. Encouraged by his best friend, he began releasing music in 2019 starting with his debut single ‘Báilalo’ (‘Get It’). He quickly became recognised for his contributions to urban music and in 2023 he was nominated for Best Urban Newcomer at the Los 40 Music Awards. He also published his debut EP ‘Melancoliz’ (‘Melancholy’) in that same year which fuses Afrobeats, reggaeton and dance-hall with his trademark urban sound.
Almácor was inspired to write his song ‘Brillos platino’ (‘Platinum Shines’) after he attended a Harry Styles concert in Madrid. Speaking to RTVE, he said:
At the concert, everyone was in tune, experiencing extreme joy. Furthermore, I was going through a good time in my life and I wanted to capture that feeling in a song. The concert was the trigger I needed.Almácor, RTVE
Can Almácor’s own song evoke similar emotions in the audience tonight? You can listen to ‘Brillos platino’ below:
So there you have the eight artists hoping performing in the second semi-final of Benidorm Fest! Only four can make it to the final so who will you be rooting for? Let us know in the comments and don’t forget to follow us on all our socials.
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